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Costa Concordia: The Refloat

Cruise Critic

Nov 21, 2019

Read time
4 min read

Concordia Refloat, Day 1: On the first day of a multiphase operation to refloat the 110,000-ton Costa Concordia, the ship was raised by almost 4 meters at the bow -- lifting Deck 6 from under the sea -- and 2 meters at the stern. The bow was also towed some 30 meters out to sea, and the stern 20 meters.

The ship will next be secured by anchors, steel cables and tugs before the refloat devices -- known as sponsons -- are lowered to their final position ahead of the full refloat.

So far, the only minor glitch was a single steel cable, which was too short to use.

Tourists and journalists line Giglio's waterfront.

Children carry on playing at the harbor while Concordia is refloated.

In Cruise Critic's Live chat from Giglio, UK Editor Adam Coulter was asked if there were many bystanders. "Yes pretty well the whole island," he said. "The port is full of journalists and bewildered tourists!"

If you look closely, you can see part of Concordia's Deck 6 above the waterline.

A tugboat gets into position during the first stage of the refloat.

Day 1's partial refloat was just the beginning of the first stage of a week-long operation that will see Concordia raised out of the water by three decks. This stage is likely to take three days in total.

As the decks emerge from sea level, they will be emptied of water via a slight tilt to the ship. Draining the water from the three decks will bring Concordia a further 14 meters above sea level. Concordia also faces several days at sea before it reaches the scrapyard in Genoa, on Italy's mainland.

Officials have confirmed that the seabed will be searched again for the last missing body -- that of Russel Rebello, a waiter -- when Concordia leaves for Genoa. If the body is not found then, the ship will be thoroughly searched before it is dismantled in port.

The first day of the refloat of Costa Concordia was completed by about 4 p.m. on July 14.

Concordia Refloat, Day 2: After a successful first day of refloating Costa Concordia, the ship has been raised by two meters at the front and by up to four meters at the aft, giving it a slight downward incline. It is now floating with the help of the flotation devices, known as sponsons, and has been towed some 30 meters from where it has rested since September to allow for the and lowering of a 13 of the 15 starboard sponsons, ahead of Thursday's refloat.

Morning on Day 2: Costa Concordia has been raised by two meters at the bow. Deck 6 is now clearly visible.

The ship appears to be at a slight tilt, which it is. The aft was raised by four meters and the bow by two meters.

The ship has been towed out to sea by 30 meters to allow for the lowering of the starboard sponsons. Previously this was not possible as the artificial platform on which the ship was resting prevented it. A tug (to the right) keeps the ship in place.

The full extent of the works that have been carried out on the ship are evident here: The forward and aft set of sponsons, and the starboard sponsons just below the waterline. Overnight teams inspected the hull and found it to be intact. Work continues to attach the sponsons by chains and cables to allow for the full refloat, scheduled for Thursday.

The extent of the damage the ship sustained on its starboard side is clearly visible, yet it is still intact.

Ferry services to and from the Italian mainland were suspended yesterday while phase one of the refloat took place. Ferry services resumed yesterday afternoon, as this photo illustrates.

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Updated November 21, 2019
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